This page gives manufacturers of cleaning products a guide to testing and approval for the Vitreous Enamel Association ‘Cleaner Scheme’.
It describes the marketing advantages, testing regimes, the process steps showing how to get products tested and licenced in order to use the VEA’s distinctive logo and how to request information about the costs involved.
Scope of VEA The Cleaner Scheme
The cleaner scheme certifies the effectiveness of cleaning products designed for cleaning vitreous enamel. A series of well established tests are carried out which assess the efficiency of cleaning and also the risk of damage to vitreous enamel.
The scheme covers the following types of product:
- Liquid, paste and cream products
- Wipe on/ wipe off products
- Spray on and leave products
- Fabric wipes
Testing and registration of a cleaning product and the use of the logo
1) Please send the VEA an enquiry form for details of the cost of testing, registration and the annual fees.
3) When the tests are complete the results will be advised, confidentially, normally within 2-3 weeks.
4) Following a positive result a licence application will be submitted to VEA. If a licence already exists for the manufacturer, on receipt of a positive result, they may proceed with step 5) NOTE: This is a ‘one-off’ payment for new manufacturers who do not have products already approved by the scheme. Manufacturers with existing approved products do not pay this fee for subsequent products.
5) Draft labelling for the product may then be produced. This must be submitted to VEA for approval to ensure that the logo is correctly displayed and that any restrictions on the use of the product are clearly shown. (E.g. A product specifically for use on cooker ovens may be a single use product which would not be suitable for any other use.)
A typical logo detail for a “general-use” product:
6) Following approval of the label, all outstanding fees must be paid together with the first year’s usage fee.
The product may then be released displaying the logo. The annual fee is payable for each product (if the same product is sold under different branding a fee is due for each use). Apart from this fee, there are no further costs incurred, unless a change is made to the formulation when the VEA would require the product to be re-tested.
The most frequent enquiry received by VEA relates to the selection of suitable cleaning products for vitreous enamelled articles. This is also the main source of concern in enquiries regarding vitreous enamel to the leading ‘home’ magazines and to manufacturers of vitreous enamelled products. As a result, many will now only recommend products which are approved to the VEA Cleaner Scheme giving a distinct marketing advantage to members of this scheme.
The instantly recognizable logo on a cleaning product will give a customer confidence that they can use it to clean their vitreous enamelled product effectively without risk of damage. Inappropriate cleaners can often cause irreparable damage.
The VEA has some companies who have been with VEA and its predecessor the Vitreous Enamel Development Council for over 20 years; such is their confidence in the value of the cleaner scheme.
All approved products are listed and illustrated on the VEA Website
Based on the many years of experience and independent testing by VEA, having a product tested will give a particpating company the assurance that its product will be effective and safe for use on vitreous enamel. In this increasing litigious society, companies will want to be sure that risk is minimised.
The VEA can also work with a company in the development of new products to provide better and more effective cleaning products.
Enamel standard test plates used for VEA in the independent testing laboratory
Cleaning Products for – Hob Tops, Ovens and Titanium (Modern) Baths
The enamel panels used for testing are specially produced. They are enamelling grade steel coated in enamels that are in current use for production of the appropriate product and conform to the appropriate International norms.
Cleaning Products for – Zircon Enamelled Baths
Older baths were coated with enamels based on Zircon (some imported cast iron baths may still be produced with this type of enamel), so the panel used is coated in specially formulated zircon enamel that as similar as possible, within current manufacturing limitations, to those traditionally used. This gives a test which has been found to be as representative as possible, even if it is not an exact match to a bath enamelled many years ago.
1) The VEA recommends that cleaners specifically designed for baths, or general-purpose cleaners are tested against both types of enamel.
2) The panels used for testing are produced new, specifically for this testing regime, and therefore have no pre-existing surface damage. For this reason, the VEA encourages manufacturers to advise customers that they should try the cleaner on a small area first if the enamel is known to be old or is damaged.